First Day Hikes

snow covered trail
What tracks will we find on this snow-covered trail?

Kick off the new year with a winter hike in an Iowa State Park!

The Iowa DNR State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes, led by staff and volunteers, in many state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative in all 50 states.

America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1 at a state park close to home. First Day Hikes offer a great way to get outside, exercise, enjoy nature, and welcome the New Year with friends and family. America’s State Parks is committed to promoting outdoor recreation as a way to address obesity, especially among children. Getting children (and adults) outside and unplugged from video games and other electronic media creates a unique connection with nature that promotes physical and mental well-being and encourages creativity and stewardship of our shared resources.

Iowa’s state parks boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation, and each First Day Hike will offer an opportunity to explore the unique natural and cultural treasures close to home.

Dress for the weather. Wear layers of clothing and sturdy hiking boots or shoes, as well as hats and gloves. Binoculars and a camera always come in handy, and remember to bring water. Strollers are not recommended. Children should bring an adult with them. Some hikes may not be appropriate for children under 5 years. Dogs must be on a leash and are not allowed into indoor locations, such as lodges and visitor centers. Trail difficulty may depend on the amount of snow on the ground.

Hikes will average one to two miles or longer depending on the location.  Details about the hikes can be found on the Iowa DNR site here and to see a comprehensive map of First Day Hikes across the country, visit America’s State Parks website.